Welcome to the May 2023 Jetty Dive Debrief! This is our newest addition to the blog – the “debrief”. Here we are going to let you know how the water has been, what the season showed us, any interesting or noteworthy details, and what we’ve achieved as a shop!

The weather really cools down in May in Coffs Harbour. It’s the time of year I consider wearing my sharkskins under my work clothes! But this means that we’re close to starting our humpback whale season, and often when I can get out diving a little bit more often😊.

I’m working on more goodies on our back-end here that will all come to light when it’s live for customers. We’ll also be working on solidifying our system for rewarding our regular divers. As always there is lots happening behind the scenes, and plenty to see for customers on whale watching and scuba trips.

Seasonal Marine Life Activity:

May is when the water temperature starts to drop, and the cold-water animals come to play! We saw this throughout the season as the Grey Nurse Sharks hung around.

On the 2nd, we spotted a couple of larger cuttlefish! Not “giant” cuttlefish but bigger than the little ones we see. On the 5th we saw a pair of leopard sharks – A little bit late for the normal Leopard Season, as it had been a few weeks since we saw one last!

There was over a dozen Grey Nurse Sharks on the 7th, along with juvenile yellow boxfish, and a spanish dancer with a emporer shrimp relaxing on top. On the 13th we saw another yellow boxfish, allong with aSemicircle Angelfish, a Peacock Mantis Shrimp, and a singular Sandbar Shark.

On the 14th of May we saw our first Humpback Whales for the season! A mum and calf humpback were breaching on our Mothers Day Dive trip. This is a little bit early for them! On this day we saw half a dozen Grey Nurses, and a QLD Groper, along with a wavy-lined bubble shell.

Some of our instructors rescued a Black Cod who had a bloated belly (which would result in death, as they get stuck on the surface), and on this day (the 20th) we also saw coral beauties. On the 21st there was a pygmy leatherjack and a massive peacock mantis shrimp. We also saw a semicircle angelfish, and 10 Grey Nurse Sharks. We saw two more whales on the trip out, too!

On the 24th we saw some more cuttlefish, a dozen grey nurses, and a black and orange painted anglerfish, which is a quite unique colour for this area! On the 28th we saw more grey nurse sharks, another pygmy leatherjacket, bicolour angelfish, Mosaic Moray Eel, and coral beauties.


PADI Open Water Divers

Congratulations to our newly certified PADI Open Water Divers:

Chloe, Eugene, Isabell, Jon, Kendl, Olivia, and Sophie.

Congratulations to Shriyan for completing his Scuba Diver Certification.

– Good work, divers!



For the month of May, visibility was fair, up until the end of the month. Our high was 25m on the 1st, and low was 6m on the 30th. The visibility varies even from site to site which is why we have two variables when tracking. Take a look at our graph below for a more detailed and visual look at our month’s visibility


Generally Temperature starts to drop in May, and this year it was dramatically colder than April! Check out our charting of the temperatures below.

Sustainability and the environment

This section we are dedicating to showing what steps we are taking to reduce our environmental impact. It might include incentives we have implemented or tried through the month, or programs we have participated in. We intend to expand upon our conservation efforts page with everything we have implemented in store – as we are doing much more than this page shows!


I’ve turned one of the walls at the back of the dive shop into my eco-wall. Here I have put up some infographics from Green Fins about rubbish and plastic lifespan, our Ecotourism Australian Advanced Certification, and an infographic I created to explain how we recycle coffee cups.

Take a look next time you’re in the shop!

We removed all of our shells from display at Jetty Dive Centre!

When Mike and Deb took over the business in 1996, there were many shells in a variety of sizes in the shop… and we didn’t ever get rid of them. This means we had a lot of shells in a few different areas throughout the shop, mostly in the office.

We do not condone taking shells, marine life, or marine life’s habitat from the ocean.

Having shells out on display may encourage others to find and take shells from the ocean, and we don’t want any part of that! So we removed all of the shells from display.

Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Policy

We are implementing a reef-friendly sunscreen policy. Therefore, we are only allowing Reef-Safe sunscreen on our experiences. See the blog post on our reef-safe sunscreen policy.

We are still working on getting some sunscreen here to sell in the shop in case customer’s don’t bring their own.

Photo of the Month

Want to be featured in our photo of the month? Send your submissions through to [email protected], with “Photo of the Month Submission” as your subject and I’ll pick the best one for our debrief and email newsletter.

Cyerce Nigricans - Black and Gold Sapsucking Slug - South Boulder at South Solitary (N Fripp May 2023)
Cyerce Nigricans – Black and Gold Sapsucking Slug – South Boulder at South Solitary (N Fripp May 2023)

From the Blog!

We have implemented a Reef-Safe sunscreen only policy! Take a look at the blog post where we go in depth on the reasons why, and how we are implementing it on the Jetty Dive Boats!

The Month Ahead!

Midway through the year already!

Almost everybody would know by now… but June is the beginning of Whale Season! The humpbacks are heading north for migration, and we start our Whale Watching trips start on the 9th of June. Book in here!

As the weather gets colder the more the Grey Nurse Sharks come to play! It’s an amazing experience diving with Grey Nurses, so make sure you get on it!


We have a monthly newsletter with updates similar to this blog post. Some of our favorite customer pictures, new product releases or favorite products. If you want to hear from us (we wont spam you, I promise!) sign up here, and click “Newsletter”.

If you have anything you would like to hear about in this debrief, or in our newsletter, or even any suggestions for another name for this debrief, please contact us and let us know!

Thanks for reading the May 2023 Jetty Dive Debrief! We appreciate you 🙂

About the Author

Tara is Jetty Dive’s Office Manager and IT Lady, Social Media Queen, Crazy-Fish-Lady, and as she likes to say – “Self-Appointed CEO”. You’ll find her sitting at her desk surrounded in pink, but happiest either on or under the water.

Tara on Mega Wild, with a grin on her face

Where to find us.


Jetty Dive Centre Dive Shop is at 398 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450. This is where you begin your experiences with us! All Scuba Dives and Snorkelling must check-in before moving to departure point.


All our boats leave from the Public floating pontoon wharf opposite the “Attitude Burgers “ building.

Jetty dive google maps with markers for priority locations